14:28 GMT +311 December 2018
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    China Bans DNA Editing Research Amid Outrage Over Genetically Modified Babies

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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - Chinese Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Xu Nanping said on Thursday that the country's authorities temporarily suspended all research related to fetal DNA editing following reports about the creation of the world's first genetically edited babies.

    'This is illegal and contrary to ethical standards. This is unacceptable', Xu said in an interview with the China Central Television (CCTV) broadcaster, highlighting that 'all the research of the individuals concerned' is currently suspended.

    Earlier this week, Chinese scientist He Jiankui claimed that he helped create the world's first genetically-modified twin babies during laboratory work. According to He, their DNA was modified in a way that helps them resist the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. He has been criticized by both scientists and authorities. The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) has already launched an investigation into the matter.

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    Justifying his actions, he said that despite gains made in HIV treatment over the past years, this disease remained the in top 10 frequent causes of mortality in many countries, especially in developing ones.

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    Genetic Modification, legislation, DNA, China
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